Carl Johnson continually raises the bar for San Andreas, and GTA players will be amazed at his long string of awe-inspiring moments.
Whether it's robbing casinos or breaking into military bases, CJ is a force to be reckoned with. San Andreas is a timeless classic because it provides high-level enjoyment. Previous GTA entries were more grounded in reality, which limits certain missions. San Andreas has more creative freedom to explore itself.
GTA players will notice right away how San Andreas turns up the dial. CJ does everything from dangerous plane stunts to underwater reconnaissance. Most of these action-packed sequences are straight out of a James Bond flick. That's what makes CJ a special character - there is never a dull moment in his life.
5 amazing CJ moments in GTA San Andreas
#5 - CJ takes over all of Los Santos
CJ arrives in Los Santos with only a few hundred dollars and a stolen bike. The Grove Street gang has fallen to the wayside in recent years, with barely any territory left over. Ballas and Vagos gangs have risen in power, which makes life all the more difficult for CJ. Eventually, he was driven out of the area.
However, GTA players can turn CJ from a low-ranking gangster to a highly successful businessman with profitable ventures. By the time CJ returns to Los Santos, he has already taken over San Fierro and Las Venturas. CJ can completely wipe out rival gangs and rule over Los Santos uncontested.
#4 - He becomes a successful businessman
By the end of the storyline, Carl runs a statewide criminal organization. He has lucrative partnerships within the music industry and Four Dragons Casino. CJ can own the most safehouses out of any GTA protagonist. He can also have six different girlfriends and acquire several expensive vehicles and weapons.
#3 - CJ finishes off Big Smoke and Frank Tenpenny
It's deeply personal between CJ and his mortal enemies Frank Tenpenny and Big Smoke. The former is a corrupt officer who makes life difficult for CJ, while the latter is a two-bit snake who betrayed Grove Street for his own selfish gains. The End of the Line mission is an exciting conclusion to the San Andreas story.
It has everything - dangerous riots, exploding cars, dramatic shootouts, thrilling chase sequences, and tension-filled scenes. GTA players might feel sorry for Big Smoke, but the same cannot be said for Tenpenny. It's quite satisfying watching him die of his grievous injuries right in the middle of Grove Street.
Up until that point in time, End of the Line was the most ambitious final mission in GTA history. Many players consider it one of the best for a reason - there are so many set pieces, yet they work very well together. The stakes are high because the emotional investment is there right from the beginning.
#2 - He robbed a mafia-owned casino
Salvatore Leone is not a man to be messed with under normal circumstances. CJ, however, is more than willing to take his chances. Along with fellow casino owner Wu Zi Mu, they plan on robbing the biggest casino in Las Venturas - Caligula's Palace. GTA players have to perform a series of setup missions beforehand.
Breaking the Bank at Caligula's is a multi-layered mission that requires stealth and skill. GTA players must complete a wide variety of tasks; these range from turning off the power generator to clearing security corridors. Night vision goggles are quite the handy tool for this daring robbery.
The climactic finish involves CJ jumping off the casino rooftops and parachuting into another building with a helicopter. CJ (and, by extension, the GTA player) can finally reap in the rewards with their hard-earned efforts - $100,000 in cold hard cash. CJ just robbed a mafia-controlled casino and got away with it.
#1 - CJ escapes a military base with a jetpack
The Truth is certainly out there. A conspiracy theorist with a deep mistrust of the government, he tasks CJ to infiltrate Area 69. Needless to say, it's easier said than done. The Black Project mission allows GTA players to approach the base anyway they want (depending on their playstyle).
For example, players can use stealth to their advantage by destroying the searchlights. If they are caught, they must gain access through a ventillation system instead. This is an over-the-top mission that perfectly exemplifies why the GTA series is fun to play. The Black Project is also one of CJ's finest moments.
CJ manages to sneak into a heavily guarded military base full of highly trained soldiers. Not only did he succeed in stealing a $60,000,000 secret project, CJ also got to use the jetpack for the first time in GTA history. Why CJ went into Area 69 all by himself but needed several prep missions to rob a casino remains a mystery.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.